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  #1  
Old 09-29-2008
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4x4 acting up?

I have a 1999 Ford Ranger XLT, 4.0l v6.

I know when I put it into 4x4 low that it's in low; the RPMs drastically are increased. But it seems like when it's in 4x4 high, that it's not?

For example, I went on this dirt/stone road to mess around with it to see if it was working properly. I backed up to turn around and went down in a ditch. I put it in 4x4 high to pull myself out, and my tires just spun? I put it into low, and pulled myself right out. I'm waiting for wintertime with the snow and everything to check actually see if it performs correctly, as I'm in college and roads seemed to be paved and not covered in snow right now, lol.

Also, I had a buddy tell me that with cv joints, that only one of the front wheels gets power when in 4x4, compared to a solid front axle, etc? Is this true, or is he just full of it?
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Old 09-29-2008
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Well the good news is you know your transfer case works. The electronic shift transfer cases can tend to get dirty and not work when you need it the most.

As for your hubs, that may be a different bag of worms. Here is an easy way to check to see if your hubs are working. Put your truck in 4wd, and jack up the front end. Then try and rotate your tires by hand. If your 4wd is working you will not be able to rotate the tires because it will be locked in 4wd with the rest of your drivetrain. If your wheels spin, then you know the hubs are not working.

As for your buddym he is right, sorta. The reason only one wheel gets power is not because of your CV joints on your IFS. It is because you have an open differential.

If you have a limited slip or a locker, this will provide better off road capabilities but comes at a price, both $$$ and a PIA factor when driving.

hope this helps.

KC
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2008
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I had the same problem. $116 for manual hubs and my troubles were solved.
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2008
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yeh i replaced mine after i found out they crappy auto hubs didnt work when I was up in the snow. best thing I ever did, because now I have low ranger for 2WD!
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97ranger4x4 View Post
Well the good news is you know your transfer case works. The electronic shift transfer cases can tend to get dirty and not work when you need it the most.

As for your hubs, that may be a different bag of worms. Here is an easy way to check to see if your hubs are working. Put your truck in 4wd, and jack up the front end. Then try and rotate your tires by hand. If your 4wd is working you will not be able to rotate the tires because it will be locked in 4wd with the rest of your drivetrain. If your wheels spin, then you know the hubs are not working.

As for your buddym he is right, sorta. The reason only one wheel gets power is not because of your CV joints on your IFS. It is because you have an open differential.

If you have a limited slip or a locker, this will provide better off road capabilities but comes at a price, both $$$ and a PIA factor when driving.

hope this helps.

KC
Alright, I'll have to do that next time I'm home to check if they are locked in. And I forgot about the open differential.. Is there a way to swap all that out and put in like what my dad has in his 96? He doesn't have CV joints, just universals and what not. Or would it be just as good to swap out and put in a locker or limited slip?

And also, everyone always tells me different ways to be sure 4x4 is engaged. Like, when you put it in, back up 15 feet or so to make sure it's locked in before you start. Same with when you put it back into 2wd. Is there a correct way of putting it in?

Money isn't going to be too much a problem here in the near future, but if it's cheaper and reliable, the better haha.
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Old 09-29-2008
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Im assuming your dad has a 96 ford ranger 4x4? There really would be no point to swap out a similar suspension from an older model into your truck. In less you wanted to go to a Solid Axle Swap (SAS). I bet even your dads front differential is open (most stock 4wd vehicles are). The rear end is a different question. You have an 8.8 since they were only offered for the 4.0 V6s. Do you know if you have an open or L/S diff in the back?

Well lets talk about what you use your 4wd for. If you are just driving on snowy roads or off the beaten path here and there, open differentials should be fine. If you however want to get into some serious 4wheeling, then adding limited slips/lockers will greatly increase your traction and off road capabilities. So once you have decided what your uses are, let us know and we can help you customize your truck into the most reliable rig that will accomplish your needs.

As for engaging 4wd, the manual on my 97 says my 4wd can be engage at speeds up to 45mph (I think). I almost always engage it at a full stop. In order to go into low range, you must be at a stop in neutral. Because I have manual hubs, I have to lock them first or I wont get any power to the front wheels. I never deal with backing up or any other crazy methods. I can tell as soon as I put my truck into 4wd I hear it engage. Now when I used to have auto locking hubs, I would often have to back up to disengage them. Since you have vacuum operated hubs, I am not sure how they really work.

KC
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2008
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Normall the backing up thing is for older trucks that have manual Tranfer cases that are stubburn to unlock even when shifted from 4Hi back to 2Hi they would say to drive backwards and turn your wheeels each direction and it would pop out , I know it said it in our 90 Z71 owner manual .

Ive never heard of anybody in a electric T case having to do that , I know in the jeep when Im in 4Hi you cant really tell untill the road gets real slick and you actually have traction .

you have a 99 correct im willing to bet your hubs are shot , check via the above mentioned way and then tell us what you find .
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  #8  
Old 09-30-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97ranger4x4 View Post
Im assuming your dad has a 96 ford ranger 4x4? There really would be no point to swap out a similar suspension from an older model into your truck. In less you wanted to go to a Solid Axle Swap (SAS). I bet even your dads front differential is open (most stock 4wd vehicles are). The rear end is a different question. You have an 8.8 since they were only offered for the 4.0 V6s. Do you know if you have an open or L/S diff in the back?
Open 8.8", and yes my dad's is a 4x4. 4.0l v6 just like mine, only automatic.
Quote:
Well lets talk about what you use your 4wd for. If you are just driving on snowy roads or off the beaten path here and there, open differentials should be fine. If you however want to get into some serious 4wheeling, then adding limited slips/lockers will greatly increase your traction and off road capabilities. So once you have decided what your uses are, let us know and we can help you customize your truck into the most reliable rig that will accomplish your needs.
Generally it wouldn't be used in TOO many offroad applications, but every once in a while I get the urge to go offroading and me and my buddy go mudding in some wooded areas near his house. But, it just botheres me about the open diff in the front how only one wheel gets power. I guess you can say it doesn't feel like true 4x4 if all 4 wheels are not getting power, you know?
Quote:
As for engaging 4wd, the manual on my 97 says my 4wd can be engage at speeds up to 45mph (I think). I almost always engage it at a full stop. In order to go into low range, you must be at a stop in neutral. Because I have manual hubs, I have to lock them first or I wont get any power to the front wheels. I never deal with backing up or any other crazy methods. I can tell as soon as I put my truck into 4wd I hear it engage. Now when I used to have auto locking hubs, I would often have to back up to disengage them. Since you have vacuum operated hubs, I am not sure how they really work.

KC
Lol, my dad put his 4x4 in at 40mph and it broke the universals. He said it went in with the loudest clunk he had ever heard. And then aftewards it would randomly lock in and unlock when he was driving. Cost him I think $800 to replace. Anyway, I still do the backing up thing when disengaging, just incase. I won't be able to jack my truck up until this weekend since I'm at college and stuff.
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2008
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Ouch!

Yeh since your prob have a few weeks till you see snow its not a huge deal. As for you 4wd capabilities, getting a l/s in the back will be much more important than having something in the front. Now if you had a good l/s in the back and you were still having trouble getting traction then I would reccomend a locker for the rear or a l/s in the front. But in my mind that would be quite overkill due to the decrease in street maners as well as the high cost to do it. I have a truck similar to your dads. Open diffs at both ends. The only time I have had trouble is in loose gravel. But as soon as I lock it into 4wd it crawls right through it. sometimes just using low range in 2wd is enough to get me through it.
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  #10  
Old 09-30-2008
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How much would a limited-slip or locker run me? I have 4.10s btw.

4x4 offroad ftw
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  #11  
Old 09-30-2008
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to be honest, I have no idea. It depends on what you get, there are so many options out there. As for Lockers, you can get your basic locked all the time, and then there are electric lockers that with the push of the button lock up. If I were to go the locker route, that is what I would do. Unfortunatly they are very pricy and then you still need to get it installed. And I dont think this is something the average at home mechanic is capable of doing.

As for l/s. They are much cheaper but the clutches will wear out over time, which requires you to go and repack them. Once again I dont know anything about the install or maintence. but this is the route I would reccomend.

Go to your local 4wheel drive store when you get some time and talk to the guys about what options you have. Also i am sure there are quite a few guys that have lockers and after market l/s on here that can give you there $.02.
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  #12  
Old 09-30-2008
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Originally Posted by 97ranger4x4 View Post
to be honest, I have no idea. It depends on what you get, there are so many options out there. As for Lockers, you can get your basic locked all the time, and then there are electric lockers that with the push of the button lock up. If I were to go the locker route, that is what I would do. Unfortunatly they are very pricy and then you still need to get it installed. And I dont think this is something the average at home mechanic is capable of doing.

As for l/s. They are much cheaper but the clutches will wear out over time, which requires you to go and repack them. Once again I dont know anything about the install or maintence. but this is the route I would reccomend.

Go to your local 4wheel drive store when you get some time and talk to the guys about what options you have. Also i am sure there are quite a few guys that have lockers and after market l/s on here that can give you there $.02.
I'll have to do that. I have quite a few friends who work on their own vehicles and have done things like this, so I'll check with them as well. I might not do anything if my truck performs like I want it to in the winter. I've driven my dad's 4x4 and it was very nice.

If my 4x4 is working, then I probably won't be messing much with the differentials and what not. Otherwise, why not play with it a bit :).
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  #13  
Old 09-30-2008
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does your dad have open diffs at both ends or does he have a l/s in the rear?

I think having a good set of tires makes more a difference. my bfgs kick @$$ in the snow. I am already looking forward to going to the snow this winter so I can have some fun!
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Old 09-30-2008
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Just go to a junk yard and get a 8.8 rearend with 410's and a L/S, its a lot cheaper
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  #15  
Old 09-30-2008
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Originally Posted by 97ranger4x4 View Post
does your dad have open diffs at both ends or does he have a l/s in the rear?

I think having a good set of tires makes more a difference. my bfgs kick @$$ in the snow. I am already looking forward to going to the snow this winter so I can have some fun!
Well, I'm not 100% sure. I'm pretty sure he has open 7.5"s in the rear, and probably the same in the front. And I have BFGoodrich Rugged Trails, all 4 brand new, less than 2500 miles on them.

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Just go to a junk yard and get a 8.8 rearend with 410's and a L/S, its a lot cheaper
Could do this as well.
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  #16  
Old 09-30-2008
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Well if your dad has the 4.0 V6 he will have a 8.8 in the rear and a Dana 35 in the front, assuming everything is stock. Those were the only axles available for the 4.0. The 7.5/D28 came on the 4cyl/3.0 models.

If you or he crawls under the truck, you can read the axle tag. If you post in on here I can decode it for you. It will tell you what axle you have, gear ratio, and if its an open or l/s.
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  #17  
Old 09-30-2008
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Originally Posted by 97ranger4x4 View Post
Well if your dad has the 4.0 V6 he will have a 8.8 in the rear and a Dana 35 in the front, assuming everything is stock. Those were the only axles available for the 4.0. The 7.5/D28 came on the 4cyl/3.0 models.

If you or he crawls under the truck, you can read the axle tag. If you post in on here I can decode it for you. It will tell you what axle you have, gear ratio, and if its an open or l/s.
Oh my bad, I remembered wrong. You are right, he does have open 8.8s, just 3.73s.

I've looked up the axle code before.
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2008
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Alright. Did I test this correctly? I had my buddy jack up my truck, I started it and put it into 4x4 high and he could spin the wheels, did the same thing with low. Is that right? Or should I have done it differently?

What do I do? Could it be a vacuum line? My dad laid down under my truck, I put it in 4x4 and slowly crept forward. He said that the half shafts turned in both high and low 4x4, so I'm guessing it's the hubs not locking in?

What are some things I can do to help pinpoint the exact problem? :(

Last edited by rdoebel; 10-04-2008 at 03:17 PM.
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  #19  
Old 10-04-2008
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Yeh the hubs are not working correctly. Your transfer case is working properly. If I were you I would look into the AVM Manual swap. AVM Hub Swap This should give you some more information on the AVM hubs and what to do.
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Old 10-04-2008
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My dad and I are looking into the AVM Hub swap now. How difficult would you say this type of swap is? I myself am not too much of a mechanic, though I can do the general maintenance things with my truck, and my dad has worked on a lot of his cars, but generally major things he takes to the shop; this wouldn't be considered major would it?

Also, is there a mod for the center caps yet? Haha, I want to keep those on, it looks weird without em :p. Where would be the best place to order these from?
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Old 10-04-2008
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Well to be honest, I really have no idea. My truck is a 97 so I have no idea what this really entailes. My guess is the only thing you will need besides basic tools is a torque wrench. check out therangerstation.com. I know a lot of guys over there have done the swap and can give you some more advice than I can provide. Look for step to step directions and see if that is within you and your dads scope.
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Old 10-04-2008
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Alright. We're taking my truck to the ford garage wednesday night and let them see what they "determine" and see what their cost is. If it's ridiculously priced, I'll just purchase the AVM manual lockers and install them myself.

Can you buy replacement auto lockers though? Also, is there a way to check and see if it IS a vacuum line that may be faulty?
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Old 10-04-2008
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well like I said, I really have no knowledge of the vacuum hubs. from what everyone says they are the very unreliable. I mean you could probably pick up a pair from a junk or wrecking yard, but its only a matter of time before they go bad again. Check out the costs, but if you use your 4wd for rough winter conditions, i think it would be an investment to upgrade into something that will be fail safe. The only thing you have to worry about is keeping your truck full of gas...
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  #24  
Old 10-04-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97ranger4x4 View Post
well like I said, I really have no knowledge of the vacuum hubs. from what everyone says they are the very unreliable. I mean you could probably pick up a pair from a junk or wrecking yard, but its only a matter of time before they go bad again. Check out the costs, but if you use your 4wd for rough winter conditions, i think it would be an investment to upgrade into something that will be fail safe. The only thing you have to worry about is keeping your truck full of gas...
Haha, usually I don't let my gas tank hit below 3/4. But since gas prices are high and I'm in college, it hits almost E :(

But we'll see the ford garage is going to charge and then I'll determine 100% what I'm going to. Thanks for all the help :)
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Old 10-09-2008
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Alright! So I took my truck to the ford garage. They inspected it this morning and said that there were no o-rings on the hubs which help create the vacuum. They said they when they replaced my whole wheel-bearing/hub assembly, it didn't come with any o-rings and they didn't know about it. So they are putting em on and my truck will be ready to go by 4 o'clock this afternoon!

Hopefully this solves the problem :)
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